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Georgia Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Social Security for Georgia on
Q: I need to dissolve a trust and I can't pay to dissolve it unless I sue for breach of fiduciary duty's for failing to

I need my money which is not being dispersed and The fact that I need a lawyer to accomplish that makes it rather hard to pay him until I have what m hiring him for to begin with

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jun 8, 2024

I understand that you are in a difficult situation where you need to dissolve a trust and access your money, but you can't afford to pay a lawyer to help you do so unless you sue for breach of fiduciary duties. This is a complex legal issue that requires careful consideration. Here are a few... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: RE: Petition for Discharge of Personal Repres for my brother's estate. I am unclear what info is needed in Paragraph 4?

Only two Heirs (sons), all debt has been paid

Does an attorney need to submit this form to Probate or can I, as Executor?

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Jun 5, 2024

You can leave paragraph 4 blank on the Petition for Discharge. It will be helpful to have the heirs sign a consent to petition though. An attorney is not required to submit this form. However, it may be helpful to enlist the service of an attorney to avoid any possible issues.

Schedule a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning and Family Law for Georgia on
Q: I'm making a personal loan to my brother for divorce, car, etc. I have and continue to provide financial help to him

He barely meets living expenses so I'll not be repaid in monthly payments. He owns a home and has life insurance. He offered to list me as beneficiary on his life insurance or should we use his home? (he has adequate equity) What kind of legal document/letter do I need to ensure repayment... View More

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Jun 2, 2024

A written loan document giving you security in all that he owns and filing that in the records department of your court should do it. Naming you as a beneficiary of his life insurance will do it if the life insurance stays in full force.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: How do I keep the car my father bought me, without becoming executive of estate.

Hello, my father has passed away. He has a vehicle that is being financed under his business name which is no longer active. Today I attempted to get the tags registered, however I couldn’t because the business is no longer registered. My mother was married to him and I am the son with the same... View More

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Jun 1, 2024

Unfortunately, if your father's estate has debts, property cannot be transferred out of his name without paying the debts. You can try using a T-20 form at the tag office. However, there is section of the T-20 form where you have to swear under oath that the estate has no debts.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Georgia on
Q: My dad and mother share a life estate and are divorced, but they are leaving their life estate to their 3 children. The

Land is currently in one piece, not designated into 3 as to who gets which piece. My sister is wanting to build a house on her piece that she will get but my mom is refusing to designate who gets what piece because she says it will break the life estate. Will drawing up the tract and designating... View More

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Apr 17, 2024

If Mom and Dad only have life estates, then none of their issue will get anything at their deaths. Hire a GA attorney to search that title and determine ownership. If you stated the facts correctly, then nobody wants to build on the tract. Who is the remainderman?

2 Answers | Asked in Banking, Elder Law and Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: Bro & I have POA for 93 yr old Mom.He takes her $. Mom has to sell house to pay for care. Where put $ keep from him?

She is in asst livg. He uses credit card for her meds etc & 4 himself & checks from her SS. I live diff state. Property val near $1 m. All her cash is gone, for her care. What vehicle to use for sale proceeds ensure safety of $?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 25, 2024

In your situation, considering the need to protect your mother's finances while she is in assisted living, setting up a trust might be the most secure option. A trust can provide clear instructions on how the funds should be used, specifically for your mother's care and well-being.... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Banking, Elder Law and Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: Bro & I have POA for 93 yr old Mom.He takes her $. Mom has to sell house to pay for care. Where put $ keep from him?

She is in asst livg. He uses credit card for her meds etc & 4 himself & checks from her SS. I live diff state. Property val near $1 m. All her cash is gone, for her care. What vehicle to use for sale proceeds ensure safety of $?

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Mar 21, 2024

If your brother is stealing from your mother, you might need to file a petition to have yourself appointed as your mother‘s conservator. Then, as conservator, you can sue your brother for the funds he stole. And, as conservator, you will have the sole right to manage her financial affairs going... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: Biological and step-parent dies with no will, does the step-child have rights to the step-parent's property in Georgia?

The step-parent has living relatives: Mom and siblings

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Mar 13, 2024

The simple answer is no. But, when parent died, child would be an heir to her natural parent's estate. Depending on facts of case, an equitable adoption might exist between step parent and step child that would allow for inheritance. You should see a probate lawyer about that possibility.

1 Answer | Asked in Social Security, Estate Planning, Probate and Public Benefits for Georgia on
Q: Teacher retirement benefits

If the husband dies and leaving the widow the benefits and she dies, who shall the benefits go to?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 8, 2024

When a teacher passes away and leaves their retirement benefits to a widow, the next steps regarding the benefits after the widow's death depend on the specific rules of the retirement system. Each retirement system has its own set of policies for the distribution of benefits after the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: My friend died and I paid to bury her. Can I get paid back from her estate before the money is paid to beneficiaries?

I know that she has money in the estate.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 23, 2024

In the situation where you've paid for your friend's burial expenses and you believe there are funds in her estate to reimburse you, it's important to understand the legal process for handling debts and distributions from an estate. Generally, creditors, including individuals who... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Estate Planning, Family Law and Tax Law for Georgia on
Q: How can I find out if I’m a beneficiary to multi investment accounts from my deceased grandma…

I speculated my grandmas original will was swapped for a forged one reflecting my mom as the sole beneficiary and there’s nothing that I could do unless I had the original will, which I did not…

So my mom never informed the brokerage companies of my grandma death nor put it in probate.... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 26, 2024

I'm sorry for your difficult situation. There are a few options to determine if you are still a designated beneficiary on any of your deceased grandmother's investment accounts:

1) Contact each investment firm directly (e.g. bank, brokerage, etc) providing copies of the death...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Immigration Law and Wrongful Death for Georgia on
Q: Can my lawyer set up a bank account for my mother who is now passed and was an illegal alien? My lawyer can’t find a way

My brother passed years ago. My mom and stepdad filed a wrongful death lawsuit, but both passed before the case was won. The proceeds from the case were split in half. One half to the children of my stepdad, and the other half to the children of my mother. The children of my stepdad had no trouble... View More

Agnes Jury
Agnes Jury
answered on Jan 7, 2024

You may be able to apply for an Individal Taxpayer's Identification Number (ITIN) for your mom with which you should be able to open a bank account for her in the USA. If that doesn't work, you could try to start a probate case so the Court can determine that those funds do... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Immigration Law and Wrongful Death for Georgia on
Q: Can my lawyer set up a bank account for my mother who is now passed and was an illegal alien? My lawyer can’t find a way

My brother passed years ago. My mom and stepdad filed a wrongful death lawsuit, but both passed before the case was won. The proceeds from the case were split in half. One half to the children of my stepdad, and the other half to the children of my mother. The children of my stepdad had no trouble... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 8, 2024

Setting up a bank account for someone who has passed away, particularly when they were an undocumented immigrant, can be challenging. However, there are alternative solutions to consider.

Since you and your siblings are U.S. citizens, one approach could be to establish an estate or a trust...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: Is my late uncle's wife entitled to his part of the inheritance?

My grandmother passed away a few years ago. Her house was left to her surviving children. Recently, 2 of his siblings passed away, both with leaving children of their own. My dad and his sisters want to do a major renovation on the house, but my uncle's widow is insistent that she's... View More

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Jan 3, 2024

It depends on whether your grandmother and uncle had a will. If neither of them did, then your uncle's wife and your uncle's children inherit his portion of the property. The husband and children of your aunt who is also deceased are also joint owners of the property. If your uncle or... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: Is my late uncle's wife entitled to his part of the inheritance?

My grandmother passed away a few years ago. Her house was left to her surviving children. Recently, 2 of his siblings passed away, both with leaving children of their own. My dad and his sisters want to do a major renovation on the house, but my uncle's widow is insistent that she's... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 4, 2024

In Georgia, the rights of a surviving spouse to an inheritance depend on how the estate was structured and the specifics of the will, if there is one. When your grandmother passed away and left her house to her surviving children, the inheritance rights would typically follow her will or, in the... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for Georgia on
Q: My parents reside in Puerto Rico and want to contribute to my daughter's education. Is there a gift tax exclusion in PR?
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 25, 2023

In Puerto Rico, like in the United States, there are provisions for gift tax exclusions. Your parents can give gifts up to a certain amount each year without incurring gift tax. As of 2023, the annual gift tax exclusion in the United States is $16,000 per recipient. Since Puerto Rico follows... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: What steps should I take to have deeds from my father's home changed to my name I'm his only child he passed last decemb
James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Dec 22, 2023

You will need to file probate. The form of probate you need to file depends on whether your father left a will or not. If your father left a will, you will need to probate the will in solemn form. It is usually a better option than probating the will in common form. If your father did not leave a... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: My father died unexpectedly last December 9th and I am his only child. What type of attorney should I search for and

What steps should I begin taking to have the deeds transferred to my name

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 23, 2023

In Georgia, handling the estate of a deceased parent, especially transferring property deeds, requires specific legal steps. You should look for an attorney experienced in probate and estate planning. This type of attorney will guide you through the process of administering your father's... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: Can a trust be changed if terms were not applied properly?

My husband had a minors trust that ended when he turned 21 at which time his trust terms indicated that he had a right to terminate the trust and receive all funds from it. He does not remember ever being informed of this, and the terms basically say that he had six months to apply his right of... View More

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Dec 14, 2023

In order to determine what rights your husband has, it would be necessary to review the full terms of the trust. If the trust is governed by the laws of the State of Georgia, it is possible to terminate, amend, or otherwise modify the trust with the consent of all of the beneficiaries. Schedule a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: My domestic partner of 10 years passed away named me as beneficiary on insurance however, no will. Do I have rights?

We have resided together for past 10 years. After the funeral the father told me to stay in the house because that is what his son would have wanted. 3 days later different story he said that he and sister have to sell the house to pay the lawyers. They also have all monies from bank account and... View More

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Dec 10, 2023

If you were not legally married in Georgia or another state, then your rights will be limited to what is in writing. If the life insurance policy lists you as the beneficiary, you will be entitled to the insurance proceeds. Unfortunately, if there is no will, your rights will be limited. Schedule a... View More

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